SAMSUNG Galaxy A13 5G is the follow up to the entry-level 4G phone of the same name that came out back in March. The 5G variant comes into the picture several months later, just in time for Christmas.
Now one might wonder if this was a straightforward 5G chipset upgrade, or if SAMSUNG’s product engineers changed anything else.
Read on for the full review.
Display and design
Visually speaking, the Galaxy A13 5G looks almost exactly like its 4G counterpart with that smooth rear panel without a camera hump. Camera islands are so 2022, and there’s nothing more aesthetic than this in 2023. Your friends and family are already dying of envy.
Its overall design also remains unchanged, with a polycarbonate back and slim bezels. Our review unit came in Peach, which happens to be our favorite for this series because it simply looks fresh and delicious – you know, kind of like what its namesake implies.
By itself, the phone is already thicker than most at 8.8mm so we kept using it naked. Now that was a good experience thanks to that matte texture. It was easy to grip and not prone to slipping.
The 6.5-inch LCD display is as expected for a budget device. The panel gets a nice refresh rate upgrade to 90Hz over its predecessor. It delivers good brightness and decent viewing angles, but it does suffer from a bit of color distortion when viewing from the sides. It continues to use the same Infinity–V camera notch from the 4G version.
That’s now a common feature, but the notch is still relatively small, making it semi-discreet when you’re watching videos. It comes with an HD+ resolution of 1600×720 pixels.
Budget phone users tend to rely on expansion cards to take things beyond what the fixed internal storage can provide.
Thankfully the Galaxy A13 5G offers a dedicated slot for that, so you don’t have to rely on a compromised hybrid solution. It has a triple card tray with two dedicated Nano SIM slots that’s just perfect for Filipino users.
Performance and benchmarks
Now moving on to the insides, we did find that the internals have had a slight upgrade from its 4G sibling. The new 5G chipset is the MediaTek Dimensity 700 which comes with a 2.2GHz octa-core CPU, a Mali-G57 MP3 GPU – a great upgrade from the 4G variant. This chipset is powerful enough to handle everyday tasks without any major hiccups.
That’s accompanied by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage, a decent enough configuration for the budget smartphone segment. It’s no flagship but the day-to-day stuff feels smooth. Basic games and apps run with no hiccups whatsoever.
More importantly, you get that 5G capability which is very important nowadays if you use mobile data a lot. To test thihs, we set it up as our mobile data hotspot, and it worked flawlessly, delivering 5G speeds which – well, let’s face it, can be very location-dependent.
Keep in mind though that you will not be able to use the phone as a Mobile Hotspot and connect to a Wi-Fi network at the same time. Due to limited hardware, you must disconnect from Wi-Fi in order to share your connection, which supports both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz band.
One of the reasons people buy a SAMSUNG phone is because of the ecosystem. The Galaxy A13 5G runs on Android 12 with One UI 4.1 which one generation behind the latest Android 13 + One UI 5, but still relatively new.
With One UI, users have access to a plethora of features, from the constantly updated Samsung Pay, Health, and various security features, to a comprehensive suite of customization options. Unlike its higher-tiered models however, the Galaxy A13 5G does not come with Samsung DeX, an app that lets users to access and use their phone as a computer, simulating the Google Chromebook.
One more strength of the Galaxy A13 5G is its security platform. The device comes with a host of pre-installed security features, such as a secure folder, SD Card encryption, and Samsung Knox, to protect user’s sensitive data from malicious attacks and prevent unauthorized access.
In addition, they also have the option to add their fingerprint or face recognition as an additional layer of security. The phone comes with a side-mounted fingerprint scanner that’s accessible via the power button.
Also, the Galaxy A13 5G does not seem to be equipped with Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant. This is a feature that lets users control device and household appliances hands-free.
Benchmark-wise, the phone performed at par with most entry-level smartphones released in 2022, scoring 4.9k points in PassMark, 6.6k in PCMark, and 250k points in AnTuTu.
Gaming and entertainment
The SAMSUNG Galaxy A13 5G comes with a 6.5-inch IPS LCD panel. Although it runs at a higher refresh rate of 90Hz, its HD resolution is lower compared to its 4G sibling, which has a full HD display. It does retain that 3.5mm audio jack along with bottom-firing loud speakers for those who need them.
Now that’s great for consuming social media content and watching videos on YouTube. However, Netflix is not supported on the phone for some reason. Still, the large display makes reading wordy Twitter threads a pleasant experience.
It is also equipped with Samsung’s Game Launcher feature for gamers to conveniently launch and switch between their favorite games. This should ensure that you have no problem streaming your favorite games on Twitch or other streaming platforms.
As for its gaming performance, the Galaxy A13 5G packs an octa-core MediaTek Dimensity 700 CPU. This chipset combined with the generous 4GB of RAM ensures smooth performance, despite being an entry-level phone.
Mobile gaming performance is slightly above its competitors in the budget segment, thanks in part to its 5G capabilities and very capable GPU, the Mali-G57 MC2. Furthermore, the A13 5G supports Samsung’s Game Booster for a better gaming experience. This feature optimizes game performance and reduces background usage by other applications, further improving the gaming performance.
Games like PUBG and Asphalt 9 can run smoothly at lower graphics settings with minimal frame drops and lag.
Camera and content creation
Camera system on the SAMSUNG Galaxy A13 5G is slightly different compared to the 4G sibling. Instead of having four sensors on the back it now only has three: a 500MP main camera, a 2MP macro lens, and a 2MP depth sensor. On the front, we get a 5MP selfie camera, down from 8MP on its 4G equivalent.
While a more powerful main snapper would have been nice, what’s here is enough to suffice for everyday casual photography and family photos. Camera performance is decent enough for the price segment, but has room for improvement. The dynamic range seen in images is good and colors are well-saturated.
While we lament the absence of the ultrawide sensor, the 2MP macro lens allows you to capture detailed close-up shots, and the 2MP depth sensor providing more accurate background blurring when using the portrait mode, something we feel that most users will enjoy taking photos with.
The 5MP selfie camera is slightly different from the 8MP sensor found on its 4G predecessor. While this does mean that the image quality isn’t as good, it should still produce decent results for casual selfies and video calls. The front-facing camera for casual content creation.
You can get decent shots in low light, but expect some grain and noise if you push it beyond its limits. This is especially visible when shooting videos.
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Battery life and charging
The SAMSUNG Galaxy A13 5G is a great performer when it comes to battery life and charging speed. It comes with a 5000mAh battery that is capable of lasting up to two days on a single charge. It also supports 15W fast charging, so you can top up your device quickly when you need it.
There’s more enough juice for uninterrupted multimedia and gaming for hours on end, as we’ve experienced in our week-long review period. It easily lasted us the entire day with enough power to last us into the evening when needed.
Our battery life benchmarks went as high as 13 hours and 46 minutes of continuous on pure Wi-Fi. With mobile data enabled, we were able to get as high as 9 hours and 21 minutes.
Now that’s quite impressive for a 5G phone, which is typically much more power-hungry that its 4G equivalents. We attribute these big numbers to the optimized power draw of its 7nm chipset.
Price and value for money
The Galaxy A13 5G is an affordable 5G device, offering excellent value for money with its impressive specs. It runs on the MediaTek Dimensity 700 5G octa-core processor and has 4GB of RAM – more than enough to handle multitasking and browsing.
It also comes with Samsung’s One UI 4.1 running on the Android 12 operating system which offers great performance for the price point. It also features a long-lasting 5,000 mAh battery that charges at 15W so you can get back to work quickly.
The SAMSUNG Galaxy A13 5G offers significant performance advantages over the Galaxy A13 4G by sacrificing display resolution and camera hardware. It comes at a slightly higher cost, priced at ₱12,990 for the 4GB version and ₱13,990 for 6GB of memory. To compare, the SAMSUNG Galaxy A13 was priced at ₱10,490 for 4GB and ₱11,490 when it came out 8 months ago.
That 5G makes it more future-proof and better equipped for faster data speeds, but we are not sure if it’s worth the extra cost, considering you lose screen resolution and that ultrawide camera.
Price, availability (Philippines)
The Galaxy A13 5G and Galaxy A23 5G are available in Awesome Blue, Awesome Black, and Awesome Orange.
Starting November 8, customers may purchase the Galaxy A13 5G at P1,000 off from its original price. The 4/128GB variant will now retail for ₱12,990, while the 6/128GB variant will be available at ₱13,990.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy A23 5G starts at ₱17,990 for the 6/128GB variant and ₱18,990 for the 8/128GB variant.
SAMSUNG Galaxy A13 5G specs (Philippines)
- Display: 6.5-inch Infinity-V IPS LCD, 720×1600 (HD+)
- SIM: Dual Nano-SIM (dedicated)
- OS: Android 12, One UI 4.1
- Chipset (SoC): MediaTek Dimensity 700 5G (7nm)
- CPU: Octa-core (2×2.2 GHz Cortex-A76 & 6×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55)
- GPU: Mali-G57 MC2
- Memory (RAM) + storage: 4GB + 64GB
- Expansion: microSD (dedicated)
- Main camera (rear): 50MP f/1.8 wide + 2MP f/2.4 macro + 2MP f/2.4 depth
- Selfie camera (front): 5MP f/2.0
- Connectivity: 5G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS
- I/O: USB Type-C; 3.5mm audio jack
- Battery: 5,000mAh, 15W charging
- Colors: Awesome Blue, Awesome Black, and Awesome Orange
- Official price (Philippines): ₱12,990 (4+128GB); ₱13,990 (6+128GB)